How does the food I eat affect my skin?
We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat”, but is it accurate? Well…. Yes. Estheticians have our tried and true phrases to categorize skin conditions such as “sugar face”, “dairy face” and “gluten face”. It may sound crude, but it’s true. Sugar, dairy and gluten all affect how our skin looks and reference patterns of acne, signs of aging and can even be triggers for eczema and rosacea.
Sugar face refers to those who have glycation, or severe wrinkling of the skin, puffy eyes and a lackluster appearance. (see my blog “What is glycation”). Sugar weakens the immune system and breaks down the strands of collagen that keep us youthful. Sugar can also wreak havoc on those that suffer from acne.
Gluten face is a whole other animal, causing puffiness, acne and redness to the skin. Those with a constant red hue and suffer from rosacea may have an intolerance to gluten.
Lastly, dairy face. Dairy is one of the biggest culprits for acne because it contains hormones, lactase and sugars that are hard for the body to digest. Those that eat a lot of dairy and suffer from acne have frequent flare ups in the cheek area after eating it.
So, what should I eat for healthy skin?
Avocado contains vitamins C, K, B6 and folic acid and is low in sugar. Avocado oil is also a wonderful lubricant for dry skin (see my blog “Which facial oils are good for my skin “).
Chocolate…. Whaaaaaaaat? But, I heard that chocolate is bad for the skin and causes acne… Well, milk chocolate and white chocolate are not what I am referring to. I’m referring to dark chocolate , 80% or higher. Cocoa powder is packed with vitamins and minerals which improve texture and elasticity.
Almonds are high in healthy fats, iron, magnesium, calcium, and Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant, so eat up!
Seaweed has a dense concentration of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, peptides, polyphenols, and polysaccharides (see “What are peptides?”). These all help aid proper digestion, reducing the risk of diabetes (diabetes increases glycation), therefore reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Of course, this is a small list of healthy foods to add your diet. Just remember, the more whole foods you eat, the better your skin will be. And don’t forget to add lots of water!